The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 will be held in the UK next year, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the BBC have confirmed.
In a statement, EBU said it was being held on behalf of this year’s winning broadcaster, Ukraine’s UA: PBC.
A statement from BBC Director-General Tim Davie said: “It is very unfortunate that our colleagues and friends in Ukraine are unable to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.
“To be asked to host the largest and most complex music competition in the world is a great privilege.
“The BBC is committed to making the event a true reflection of Ukrainian culture while showcasing the diversity of British music and creativity.
“The BBC will now begin the process of finding a host city who will work with us to deliver one of the most exciting events to come to the UK in 2023.”
– BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) July 25, 2022
Mykola Chernotytskyi, CEO of Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC, said: “The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will not be held in Ukraine, but in support of Ukraine.
“We are grateful to our BBC partners for showing their solidarity with us.
“I am confident that together we will be able to bring Ukrainian spirit to this event and once again unite all of Europe around our common values of peace, support, celebration of diversity and talent.”
The application process to select the host city starts this week and will be managed jointly by the BBC and the EBU.
The winner would require a large function space, suitable accommodation and international transport links for the participating countries and their delegations.
Sheffield City Council was among the first to announce a bid, saying on Twitter: “We’ve told Eurovision we’d like to host… look at this space.”
We said so @Eurovision We would love to host… check out this space 👀
— SheffieldCityCouncil (@SheffCouncil) July 25, 2022
Manchester City Council confirmed it would also make an offer with its leader Bev Craig, who tweeted: “A world class music city, brilliant venues, experience in hosting major events and of course one of the UK’s largest Ukrainian populations – we are confident that we will make it an unforgettable #eurovision.”
A world-class music city, brilliant venues, experience in hosting major events and of course one of the UK’s largest Ukrainian populations – we’re confident we can pull it off #eurovision recall.
More to come https://t.co/oTnvQZfDXf
— Bev Craig (@bevcraig) July 25, 2022
London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced the city’s intention to bid to host the Eurovision Song Contest, saying: “London is ready and willing to intervene”.
It is very disappointing for Ukraine not to be able to host next year’s Eurovision.
London is ready and willing to intervene. We would be honored to host a competition that celebrates the people of Ukraine and showcases the best of Britain. https://t.co/hIXh1JFdIa
— Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (@MayorofLondon) July 25, 2022
Ukraine competed in the competition in 2003 and has won it three times, making it one of the most successful of the newer competitive countries – having triumphed in 2004 and 2016.
The lead singer of the Kalush Orchestra, which won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, has expressed his gratitude to Britain for hosting next year’s event.
Oleh Psiuk told the PA news agency: “Of course we are very sad that next year’s Eurovision Song Contest will not be held in Ukraine.
“But we are grateful to the UK for their solidarity and for agreeing to hold the event in support of our country.
“We hope that Eurovision 2023 will have a Ukrainian flavor and celebrate our beautiful, unique culture.
“We, in turn, will make every effort to help Ukraine win again next year so that Eurovision 2024 can take place in a peaceful country.”
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